I was out in the garage getting some empty wine bottles to soak off the labels for my scrap book of references. Of course the men that handle the recycling tubs must think we throw some great parties or we are really winos. For some odd reason there are always more bottles then I can do at one session, but such is life.
One of the bottles that I grabbed, alas, I cannot soak off the label as it is printed right onto the glass, and I gave the bottle a second look and smiled as I remember that it was brought to us, by one of our guests at a dinner party. The wine is made by Hollywood & Vine Cellars of Napa Valley. It was a bottle of Short Ends Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2008. The advertising blurb on the back of the bottle says “When making a movie and there’s not enough film left in the camera for another take, we replace the magazine and call the left over film stock; “Short Ends.” Similarly, after crafting our Hollywood and Vine “2480” wines, we often have a little wine left from each of our world class vineyard sources, and we blend those “Short Ends” into this remarkable and uniquely delicious Napa Valley wine.”
As I read this, it made me think of films that I have seen about wines, the most notable being “Bottle Shock” and “Sideways,” but there are others. Then I thought about some of the people from Hollywood that have either granted rights to their name from the estates or actually make wines.
The most notable would be Francis Ford Coppola, the author and director with a collection of Academy Awards to his credit. I think his finest wine is his Rubicon that I first tasted at the vineyard and winery of his Niebaum-Coppola. Then there is the Raymond Burr Vineyards, as well as the Mac Murray Ranch, which was originally a ranch, and replanted as a vineyard by the daughter of Fred Mac Murray.
Then I can think of two actors that the estates must have allowed the use of the names. I have bottle of Korbel Sinatra Champagne. And I have several bottles of wine that I have enjoyed over the years by the Marilyn Merlot group, they also have a younger Merlot called Norma Jean, and a Champagne, a Sauvignon Blonde and a Meritage that features the famous Playboy pinup poster with a printed plastic cover for displaying the wine in shops, which covers that famous pose.
I am well aware that there are many other “celebrity” wines and wineries, but I kept this story to the ones that I have enjoyed over the years.